What is The Curly Girl Method?

What is The Curly Girl Method? Curls, as a desired hair state, have had a storied past, but their resurgence as a red carpet staple and in the public arena has created a market for product lines geared solely to the women whose tresses err on the side of coiled.

Gone are the days of pining for straight locks; now, more than ever, women are learning to embrace their glorious, voluminous, natural textures. This in itself is the foundational tenet of the Curly Girl Method (CGM): accept your curls, embrace them, and learn to understand their tendencies.

In the words of Curly Girl pioneer, hairstylist Lorraine Massey, “every action has a reaction”, and geography, weather and touching all wield a particular impact on the ‘almighty curl’. Massey’s hottest tip? Establish a bespoke, daily curl-care routine (to control frizz and dryness) and be consistent with it.

Enter Clever Curl, a line of CGM-approved products inspired by Massey’s 2011 manifesto, Curly Girl: The Handbook. Clever Curl is cruelty-free, vegan, Australian made, and most importantly, specifically formulated to enhance naturally-textured hair. Eight products comprise the Clever Curl offering –– Cleanser, Light Conditioner, Rich Conditioner, Curl Treatment, Curl Wonderfoam, Curl Cream, Curl Gel (Humid Weather Clever) and Curl Gel (Dry Weather Clever) –– which, together, accomplish the Curly Girl hair mission of preserving moisture, preventing damage and retaining wave/curl/coil patterns.

The Curly Girl Method involves a four-pronged procedure of cleansing, conditioning, scrunching and styling. A detailed step-by-step guide will follow; but first, let us consider the core features of this refreshingly curl- centric haircare approach.

what is the curly girl method woman with brown hair

Credit: The Salon Collective

Cowra NSW

what is the curly girl method long hair

Credit: Danika Durack Hair and Makeup Artist

Mira Mar WA

What is The Curly Girl Method?

All of the good stuff, none of the bad!

Adherents are asked to shirk convention when embarking on their Curly Girl journey. In this case, ‘convention’ refers to the two esses: sulfates and silicones (essentially kryptonite in the Curly Girl context).

Sulfates give rise to a ‘bad’ calibre of lather that strips manes of their natural oils and returns them coarse and dehydrated. Curly hair already tends to be drier than its straight counterparts, and given sulfates are present in most shampoos, it is essential curl lovers adopt a ‘no-poo’ routine (i.e. by using sulfate-free cleansers/botanical shampoos) or by co-washing (i.e. skipping the ‘shampoo step’ altogether and cleansing via conditioner exclusively).

Fun fact: it takes gallons of water to rinse just one dollop of shampoo, and even then, it’s not all gone… a scary prospect! 

Silicones, on the other hand, are synthetic hydrogen, oxygen and carbon substances responsible for that slippery, moisturised sensation we experience when running our hands through our hair. Though the strands may feel silky at first touch, they are, in reality, being suffocated and deprived of essential nutrients.

What is The Curly Girl Method?

Damage, No More!

Bid “adieu” to your favourite terrycloth towel; microfibre, and even jersey, are the Curly Girl’s new best friends. Brushes and combs should also take up residence at the bottom of your vanity drawer.

The CGM means not fracturing natural curls by treating hair gently. Artificial heat dehydrates and damages hair over time; while towels, brushes and combs impose friction, leading to breakage and frizz. Curly Girls champion the good ol’ fashioned air dry or diffusing on low heat and low speed.

what is the curly girl method blonde hair

Credit: Ginger and Curls Hari Studio

Wagga Wagga NSW 02 6957 3421

what is the curly girl method brown and blond curls

Credit: Adonai Hair and Beauty

Happy Valley SA 08 8381 1117

What is The Curly Girl Method?

The CGM outline:

1. Cleanse

  • Cleanse wet hair while preserving your curls’ basic shapes.
  • If your natural hair pattern is fragile, cup and allow the water to gently pass through.
  • Line cleanser along your fingertips in an even distribution between both hands. Apply to the scalp by splaying fingertips so as to not disrupt each curl’s natural form.
  • Massage the scalp in a firm, circular motion to dislodge any dirt or product build-up. Start with the temples, travel up the sides and back towards the crown, finishing at the nape.
  • Rinse by cupping hair and squeezing upwards to remove all the cleanser (while simultaneously ensuring water is running through your hair).
  • Cleanse twice (for up to a minute per wash) to ensure all dirt, oil and build-up are removed from scalp.
  • Correct use of this technique/method will result in a clean scalp, while incorrect action may cause issues (e.g. irritation).

 Go-to Clever Curl products: Cleanser

2. Condition

  • Distribute a small helping (to start) of conditioner between two hands. Smooth over the outer canopy of hair, grazing downwards.
  • Add water before applying more conditioner. The quantity will be dictated by the tightness of curls.
  • Make sure to apply under the canopy and at the nape of the neck. Y
  • our fingers should be used to comb through.
  • Conduct a ‘trickle’ or ‘baptism’ rinse: scoop handfuls of water and splash over hair several times.
  • Leave in some of the conditioner to keep hair moisturised.

Go-to Clever Curl product/s: Light Conditioner, Rich Conditioner, Curl Treatment

 3. Scrunch

  • Tilt your hair forward so it falls naturally.
  • Use a microfiber towel to ‘scrunch squeeze’ upwards – grabbing hair at its ends – in the direction of the scalp.
  • Note: the ‘scrunch squeeze’ will aid curl formation and absorption of conditioner.
  • Take a dollop of gel and rub into both hands. Apply throughout hair, coating each curl. Scrunch sections of hair upwards towards the scalp.
  • Return to an upright position and gently shake hair so curls fall into natural positions.
  • Graze hair downwards with more gel if ‘halo frizz’ is applicable.

Go-to Clever Curl products: Curl Wonderfoam, Curl Cream, Curl Gel (Humid Weather Clever), Curl Gel (Dry Weather Clever)

4. Style

Curls tend to dry flat at the top and voluminous on sides (aka the ‘east-west effect’).

  • For more volume at the crown (i.e. a north-south orientation), clip curls at the top and relieve their weight.
  • Allow your hair to air dry or gently blow-dry with a diffuser on low heat. The hair will crystallise in a gel cast.
  • Bend forward, place hands around the scalp, and with tips of your fingers shake the hair at the root.
  • Use Curly Girl technique, ‘scrunch out the crunch’, to release the hair from the cast.
  • Stand upright and gently lift your fingers off the scalp.
what is the curly girl method before and after

Credit: Hair by Hope Rowville

VIC 03 9755 6552

What is The Curly Girl Method?

The Curly Girl Method and Clever Curl

While curly hair can be unpredictable, it is by no means untameable. Clever Curl products are bona fide CGM-approved, environmentally friendly, and, most importantly, emboldening. Take control today and show off your curls to the world. After all, it’s never too late to become a Curly Girl. Your hair will thank you for it.

All Clever Curl products are formulated with minimal ingredients to ensure that nothing gets in the way of beautiful natural curls.

Delivering moisture and the ability to hold a healthy hydrated curl are paramount functions across the range with the added benefits of Certified Organic Aloe Vera Juice and Rice Water Protein providing the perfect balance of nourishment and strength. Clever Curl products are Australian Made, Vegan Friendly, Cruelty-Free and made without sulphates, silicones or drying alcohols. The entire range of Clever Curl products are 100% CG (curly girl approved).

Sho Our Clever Curl Products Here